Police Officers and Social Media

Have you heard the news recently about 72 police officers in Philadelphia who have been placed on administrative leave over allegations that they made offensive racist comments on their social media posts?

There was an investigation after a database site called The Plain View Project ousted them to the public. This watchdog group compiled screenshots of the posts and shared them online. According to the media, the database site contains more than 5,000 Facebook posts from 3,500 current or former police officers from eight police jurisdictions across the country. These posts contain racist, misogynist, and violent comments.

Officers are entitled to due process just like any other citizen. But when the integrity of an Officer is compromised, the entire department that the Officer is associated with is then compromised. People start to question their intentions, and any kind of negative posts not only undermine public trust and confidence in law enforcement, but hostility begins to build up as well.

All law enforcement officers should undergo some type of anti-racism training, social media training, mental illness training, and Autism/ASD training. It is critical that they learn how to work with those who have learning disabilities without regard to their ethnicity, gender, or religious affiliation.

When it comes to social media posts, Police Officers are especially vulnerable and really need to think before posting anything online. They risk putting themselves and their family members safety at risk.

Let’s hope this will all get figured out soon. We absolutely need and value our police officers, and it already seems like there is a shortage of them on the streets. We wouldn’t want them to be taken off the job during a time of increased violence in our country.

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